Wake up on St David's Day, and you'll be expected to rock up to work.

Wales' national day has never been awarded bank holiday status by the UK government.

Today, as Wales chills out on the final bank holiday until Christmas, trade union leaders are calling on the UK government to create four new public holidays across Wales and England.

The eight bank holidays a year that workers are currently entitled to is much lower than those in other countries.

Workers in Scotland have 11 public holidays this year while Northern Ireland has 10. 

The numbers are even higher when we look beyond the horizons of the British Isles.

Romania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland and Cyprus top the EU table, with 15 days each, while there are 17 in Japan, 12 in Australia and 11 in China and New Zealand.

Trade Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The August bank holiday will be a welcome break for everyone working hard to get us through the pandemic, especially those on the front line.

“But, after August, there’s no national holiday until Christmas, and that’s because the number of holidays we get is so stingy compared to other nations.

“A few more public holidays would be a great way to thank working Britain for getting us through these tough times, and it would level us up with other workers around the world.

“It’s time for a national conversation – when should our new holidays be? What might they celebrate? An autumn holiday to break the long stretch to Christmas would be a good start.”

The first day in the calendar that Welsh people may look to is March 1.

Scotland and Northern Ireland both have bank holidays on their patron saints’ day. However, there is currently no bank holiday on St David's Day.

Successive UK Governments have refused to grant Wales a bank holiday on March 1, despite the National Assembly for Wales voting unanimously in favour of such a move in 2000.

*Additional reporting by Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

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